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whitefox works with spinal surgeon Dr Hilali Noordeen to publish his timely manifesto about the state of medicine

whitefox works with spinal surgeon Dr Hilali Noordeen to publish his timely manifesto about the state of medicine

By Claudia Besant |

whitefox: helping brands, thought leaders and writers create beautiful bespoke books

The challenge

Dr Hilali Noordeen is a renowned spinal surgeon at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, and the Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He has authored numerous articles and book chapters in various publications, sharing his incredible knowledge and expertise with the world.

At the beginning of 2020, Dr Noordeen contacted whitefox with the goal of publishing his book, Letters to a Young Doctor: Exploring and Surviving a Career in Medicine. His aim was to create a part manual, part memoir and manifesto that could help future medical students and young doctors navigate and survive their medical education and practice, presenting an unvarnished depiction of medicine as it is today and the extreme challenges the profession faces. With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading around the world, and insurmountable pressure being placed on healthcare professionals, Dr Noordeen was determined to make his timely book available as soon as possible to those who needed it most.

The solution

whitefox aided Dr Noordeen in the swift creation of his powerful manifesto, offering high-quality services in editorial, design, print, marketing, audio, and sales and distribution. The cover art of Letters to a Young Doctor is an adaptation of German artist Ralf Schmidt’s painting Weltendoktor or World Doctor. The painting was adapted by one of whitefox’s talented freelance cover designers, who helped capture its vibrant Pop Art style. 

Having been given complete creative control over his project, Dr Noordeen was able to prioritise different elements of the publishing process and adapt the schedule so that an audiobook was the first version of the book to be created, allowing his medical students access to the book before Christmas. The physical edition and eBook were then published in February 2021.

The result

Since its publication, and with the help of whitefox’s expert PR partners, Dr Noordeen’s Letters to a Young Doctor has received global coverage and much well-deserved recognition and praise from a variety of voices. MP, author, and Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman said the book was ‘a brilliant and impassioned cry from the heart at the current state of medical education and practice, from the top of the profession. That it is also spiritual, wise and funny makes this book something special.’ 

Author and mental health advocate Rachel Kelly remarked that, ‘At a time when, more than ever, we are focused on the NHS, this is a reminder of the compassionate care that needs to be at its heart. Part polemic, part guide to a medical career, and part memoir, Letters to a Young Doctor is also very funny and written with passion… and fluency. Dr Hilali Noordeen has written a book which should be prescribed reading for any budding doctor, not to mention their parents.’

Alongside glowing reviews, Dr Noordeen has received coverage on the British Scoliosis Research Foundation’s blog, in the New Statesman, TIME magazine, and the Sunday Times of Sri Lanka. The New Statesman wrote, ‘Writing for medical students and junior doctors across the UK, Noordeen, 60 – whose career spans 36 years full-time in the NHS – neither patronises by casting himself as a wise elder nor sugarcoats the struggle with wellbeing and work-life balance afflicting doctors in today’s NHS.’

Dr Hilali Noordeen’s inspiring and passionate Letters to a Young Doctor has undoubtedly helped many during a tumultuous and unprecedented time, something that might not have been possible without the dedication and efficiency of the whitefox team and network of skilful freelancers who helped swiftly turn a promising book project into a life-changing manifesto.


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